Monday, July 15, 2013

Prospect Watch: Michael St. Croix

Michael St. Croix
edmontonsun.com

When it comes to prospects, the Rangers boast few scorers in their system. The recent second round swap with the Canadiens that sent Christian Thomas to Montreal for Danny Kristo could pan out. That story will be worth following this Fall. As for recent drafts, Michael St. Croix comes to mind. He's hardly ever mentioned despite consecutive strong offensive showings with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League. The son of former NHL goalie Rick St. Croix (Flyers, Leafs) is looking to prove critics wrong.

Selected by the Rangers in the fourth round 106th overall of the 2011 Draft, the 20-year old St. Croix followed up a 45-goal 105-point season with 37 markers and 55 assists totaling 92 points in all 72 games. While the production didn't match '11-12, the Winnipeg native lit it up in the WHL playoffs tallying 13 goals and 13 helpers for 26 points- leading the Central Division winners to the WHL Finals where they fell short in a bid to repeat losing in six games to the Portland Winterhawks for the championship. Here's a closer look at the center the Rangers signed last year (9/14/12).


PLAYER: Michael St. Croix
Position: Center
Shoots: Right
Height: 6-0
Weight: 179
Born: 4/10/1993
Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Drafted: New York Rangers 2011 Round 4 No.106

2010-11: In his second season with the Oil Kings, St. Croix improved across the board achieving new highs in goals (27), assists (48), points (75), plus/minus (28) and games played (68). He scored a goal in four playoff games. It impressed Ranger scouts enough to take him in the fourth round.

2011-12: Year Three was a breakout with St. Croix's 105 points placing eighth in WHL scoring that included notables Emerson Etem and Ty Rattie. His 45 goals and 60 assist ranked in the top 10. He also improved his plus/minus to plus-40. The offensive explosion garnered East Second All-Star Team honors. In the postseason, he tallied seven goals and 12 helpers for 19 points in 20 games helping lead the Oil Kings to the Chynoweth Cup. Edmonton advanced to the Memorial Cup where they fell to eventual host champ Shawnigan. St. Croix was held to one assist in the tournament.

2012-13: His 92 points (37-55-92) was seventh best in the WHL. He was named to the East First All-Star Team. St. Croix established a career best in power play goals (20) and had six game-winners. Nearly half his production came on the power play totaling 44 power play points. His improvement during Edmonton's run to the Chynoweth Cup Finals is a positive. Thirteen goals and 13 assists is a nice split. Only four of his 26 points came on the man-advantage. His point total ranked third best.

Scouting Report: I couldn't find anything recent. Judging from previous accounts, most are undecided on him. The pluses are St. Croix's offensive capabilities. He possesses good hands that can both finish and set up. He is undersized. Don't put too much stock into him being generously listed at six feet. He definitely must get stronger. Especially entering his first year as a pro.

Video: There really isn't much. Considering his numbers, it's kind of a downer. I did find this scrap from a couple of years back.



Ironically, recent highlights of two goals he scored comes via NYR Blog contributor Adam Herman.




Future: Given that the Ranger organization unloaded another smallish prospect Thomas, it's hard to say what his future is. It could depend on how quickly he adjusts to a more physical game in the AHL. Maybe he's one of those classic overachievers. Only time shall tell.

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